For Immediate Release
Recently Formed Governmental Oversight Organization on Public Integrity Asks Governor to Investigate Operations of All State Ethics Units
New York, New York - Committee on Public Integrity (CPI) , a newly formed statewide coalition of government watchdog groups, has asked New York State Governor David A. Paterson to immediately suspend funding of the state’s ethics bodies, including the Commission on Judicial Conduct and the four attorney grievance committees. In addition, CPI has requested that Governor Paterson issue an Executive Order initiating a “Performance Audit” of all statewide ethics entities. In seeking the Governor’s immediate intervention, CPI cited the past conduct of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which it has called “irreversibly corrupt.” In addition, CPI confirmed that four-year-long research by its members has specifically documented dozens of criminal acts at the attorney ethics committees in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester. CPI also noted that this endemic corruption has created a state fiscal problem which has led to the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars from the state treasury. In addition to CPI, numerous elected New York State judges have recently appeared before federal and state legislative committees in support of the immediate need for extraordinary measures to deal with the conduct of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Other judges and attorneys have called upon federal and state legislators adopt measures to place the four statewide departmental attorney ethics committees under the control of a federal monitor. Frank Brady, chairman of co-founder Integrity in the Courts, issued the following statement in support of the CPI actions: “In New York State, well documented complaints of malpractice, personal attacks and even theft, filed by individuals victimized by judges and attorneys have revealed that the court system is corrupt to the core. The intervention of Governor Patterson is a necessary step in a process designed to hold court officials and attorneys accountable for their illegal actions, which threaten to undermine the standards of fairness and integrity on which our system of justice is founded.” John T. Whitely, president of Public Committee on Attorney Conduct stated, “For too long, we have allowed our court system to be controlled by officials and employees often to the detriment of the citizens they are expected to serve. Indeed, the system is often found to be dominated and controlled strictly by money, favoritism and cronyism. The time has come for a top to bottom review of the fatally flawed government system which remains shielded from public scrutiny.”
Inquiries should be sent to Committee onPublic Integrity via email at: Committee onPublicIntegrity@gmail.com. Telephone inquiries can be directed to 347-632-9775. For additional information, contact the CPI website at www.committeeonpublicintegrity.com.
Committee On Public Integrity
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
February 26, 2010
The Honorable David Paterson,
Governor of The State of New York
The State Capital
Albany, New York 12224
Via U.S. Mail Delivery Confirmation # 03081400000250073184
RE: Request to Suspend Funding for, and the Issuance of an Executive Order Directing a “Performance Audit” over, all Statewide “Ethics” Bodies.
Dear Governor Paterson:
We understand you and your staff are fully aware that our research has revealed, and fully documented, the corruption that plagues the New York State Court “ethics” oversight structure. We have documented countless examples where attorneys, litigants, state employees and, in fact, judges have been targeted for annihilation because of a political whim or as the result of the vengeful, misguided desires and illegal actions of a few. Conversely, we have discovered evidence of many outrageous, unethical and criminal acts by certain individuals within and about the state court system that have been routinely overlooked and covered up as the result of their favored positions or political affiliations and contributions.
We have presented numerous elected New York State judges to appropriate federal entities in Washington, D.C., and before state legislative committees, who personally appeared in support of the immediate need for extraordinary measures to deal with the outrageous conduct of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Without question, the CJC is irreversibly corrupt. So too are the four statewide departmental attorney ethics committees. (Incidentally, we have over three dozen judges who will similarly testify as to the corruption within New York’s “ethics” entities.)
Immediately troubling is the revelation from public testimony before Senate Judiciary Chairman Senator John L. Sampson of the existence of dozens of complaints that have been systematically “white-washed” by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. (See attached NYS Senate hearing transcripts: Albany-June 8, 2009 & Manhattan –September 24, 2009) This endemic corruption presents a state fiscal problem as well. Kindly note the tabbed section pertaining to the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars away from the state coffers. Furthermore, our four-year-long research has specifically documented dozens of criminal acts at the Manhattan attorney ethics committee, under Alan Friedberg, and at the Westchester ethics committee under Gary Cassella. It must be noted, however, that the improper acts by those charged with ethics oversight is indeed a state-wide problem.
The time for action is now. Accordingly, we respectfully request that you immediately suspend all funding- except for, perhaps, essential funding- directed to all statewide “ethics” bodies. In addition, we request that you issue an immediate Executive Order directing that a “Performance Audit” of all “ethics” entities in the state be initiated. We are confident that future generations of New Yorkers will echo our gratitude for your initiative in moving to restore our faith in our government and in our system of law.
Very truly yours,
Franklin N. Brady
Committee on Public Integrity